Kind of Homesick

Kind of Homesick

Wilhelm Genazino

A football match flickers on the TV screen, and on the bar floor an ear lies. Dieter Rothmund knows at once it can only be his. Has anybody noticed? How do you manage to get through the day when you are, literally, falling apart?

Dieter Rothmund travels by train, without a ticket. Ever since his wife announced that she could no longer stand living in the city and had to move to the Black Forest, they have to pay for two flats, and Rothmund must economize. When he is promoted, to his astonishment, to the position of financial director and cost-cutting is no longer called for, this does not change the basso continuo of his life: the experience of loss. So persistent is the feeling that even the sight of his own ear lying on a barroom floor shocks him only momentarily.

Wilhelm Genazino tells the story of a man frightened by the fact that his feelings – fear, despair, homesickness – have lost their intensity, and he tells it with characteristic irony, precision and implacability that does not spare his protagonists. Only when the previous tenant of Rothmund's flat, a woman called Sonja, turns up to search for old boxes in the basement, does an opportunity arise to transform misfortune, via amorous adventures, into fortune. Always provided that the loss of his ear is not followed by the loss of other appendages…

Kind of Homesick

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